Low turnout in British police elections

Nov. 16, 2012 at 4:43 PM
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LONDON, Nov. 16 (UPI) -- Local elections of police and crime commissioners, a first for England and Wales, saw law voter turnout, an election official said.

Numerous areas reported turnouts in elections Thursday ranging from 13 percent to 20 percent, the BBC reported.

The low response is "a concern for everyone who cares about democracy," said Electoral Commission spokeswoman Jenny Watson, adding, "These were new elections taking place at an unfamiliar time of the year, which is why we have made it very clear at every stage it would be important to engage effectively with voters."

Police minister Damian Green told the ITV television network Friday turnout really is not the issue.

"Millions of people voted yesterday. Nobody ever voted for the chair of a police authority, so there's clearly a democratic mandate that wasn't there before," Green said.

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